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Peripheral Artery Disease Procedures Recurrent, Costly

PAD patients often require additional hospitalizations and repeated intervention

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) carries a high economic burden, with many asymptomatic patients going on to experience an ischemic event requiring hospitalization and many symptomatic patients requiring one or more revascularizations and other procedures, according to research published online Oct. 12 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Elizabeth M. Mahoney, Sc.D., of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., and colleagues estimated the costs associated with PAD by comparing the two-year rates of vascular-related hospitalizations and related costs in 25,763 patients enrolled in an international prospective registry of patients at risk of atherothrombosis. Of this group, 9.3 percent were symptomatic and 0.8 percent were asymptomatic but had an ankle-brachial index below 0.90 at baseline.

The mean cumulative hospitalization costs per patient were $7,445 for those with asymptomatic PAD, $7,000 for those with a history of claudication, $10,430 for those with lower-limb amputation, and $11,693 for those with revascularization. There was an association between having had a prior peripheral intervention procedure and higher risk of further procedures at one and two years.

"The economic burden of PAD is high. Recurring hospitalizations and repeat revascularization procedures suggest that neither patients, physicians, nor healthcare systems should assume that a first admission for a lower-extremity PAD procedure serves as a permanent resolution of this costly and debilitating condition," the authors write.

The study was supported by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; several authors disclosed financial relationships with those and other pharmaceutical and/or medical device companies.

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